Obrázky na stránke

Prin. Avaunt, perplexity! what shall we do,
If they return in their own shapes to woo ?

. Good Madam, if by me you'll be advis'd,
Let's mock them ftill, as well known, as disguis'd;
Let us complain to them what fools were here,
Disguis’d, like Moscovites, in * shapeless gear ;
And wonder what they were, and to what end
Their shallow Shows, and Prologue vildly pen'd,
And their rough carriage fo ridiculous,
Should be presented at our Tent to us.

Boyet. Ladies, withdraw, the Gallants are at hand. Prin. Whip to our Tents, as roes run o'er the land.

[Exeunt. S CE N E

VII. Before the Princess's Pavilion. Enter the King, Biron, Longaville, and Dumain in their own habits; Boyet, meeting them.

KING. FAIR Sir, God save you! Where's the Princess ?

Boyet. Gone to her Tent. Please it your Majesty, command me any service to

her? King. That she vouchsafe me audience for one word.



i. e, clouds which veil Angels : And by this means gave us, as the old proverb fays, a cloud for a Juno. It was Shakespear's purpose to compare a fine lady to an angel ; it was Mr. Theobald's chance to compare hier to a cloud: And perhaps the ill-bred reader will fay a lucky one. However I supposed the Poet could never be so nonfenfical as to compare a masked lady to a cloud, though he might compare her mask to one. The Oxford Editor who had the ad. vantage both of this emendation and criticism, is a great deal more subtile and refined, and says it should not be angels veild in clouds, but angels veiling clouds, i. e. capping the sun as they go by him, just as a man veils his bonnet.

Shapeless gear; ] Shapeless, for uncoach, or what Shakespear elsewhere calls diffufed. VOL. II.



Boyet. I will; and so will she, I know my lord.

[Exit. Biron. This fellow picks up wit, as pidgeons peas; And utters it again, when Jove doth please: He is wit's pedlar, and retails his wares At wakes and waffals, meetings, markets, fairs: And we that fell by gross, the Lord doth know, Have not the grace to grace it with such show. This Gallant pins the wenches on his sleeve; Had he been Adam, he had tempted Eve. He can carve too, and lisp: why, this is he, That kift away his hand in courtesie; This is the ape of form, Monsieur the nice, That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice In honourable terms: nay, he can fing A mean most mainly; and, in ushering, Mend him who can; the ladies call him sweet; The stairs, as he treads on them, kiss his feet. 7 This is the flower, that smiles on every one, To fhew his teeth, as white as whale his bone

And 7 This is the flower, that smiles on ev'ry one,] The broken disjointed metaphor is a fault in writing. But in order to pass a true judgment on this fault, it is still to be observed, that when a metaphor is grown fo common as to desert, as it were, the figurative, and to be received into the common stile, then what may be affirmed of the thing represented, or the substance, may be affirmed of the thing representing, or the image. To illuftrate this by the instance before us, a very complaisant, finical, over-gracious person, was so commonly called the flower, or as he elsewhere expresies it, the pink of courtefe, that in common talk, or in the lowest stile, this metaphor might be used without keeping up the image, but any thing affirmed of it as of an agnomen : hence it might be said, without offence, to smile, to flatter, &c. And the reason is this; in the more solemn, less-used metaphors, our mind is so turned upon the image which the metaphor conveys, that it expects, this image should be, for some little time, continued, by terms proper to keep it in view. And if, for want of these terms, the image be no sooner presented than difmiffed, the mind suffers a kind of violence by being drawn off abruptly and unexpectedly from its contemplation. Hence it is


And consciences, that will not die in debt,
Pay him the due of honey-tongued Boyet.

King. A blifter on his sweet tongue with my heart,
That put Armado's Page out of his Part!

[blocks in formation]

Enter the Princess, Rosaline, Maria, Catharine,

Boyet, and attendants.
Biron. See, where it comes; behaviour, what wert

'Till this man fhew'd thee? and what art thou now?
King. All hail, sweet Madam, and fair time of

Prin. Fair in all hail is foul, as I conceive.
King. Construe my speeches better, if you may.
Prin. Then with me better, I will give you


[ocr errors]


that the broken, disjointed, and mix'd metaphor fo much shocks

But when it is once become worn and hacknied by common use, then even the very first mention of it is not apt to excite in us the representative image; but brings immediately before us the idea of the thing represented. And then to endeavour to keep up and continue the borrow'd ideas, by right adapted terms, would have as ill an effect on the other hand: Because the mind is already gone off from the image to the substance. Grammarians would do well to consider what has been here said when they set upon amending Greek and Roman writings. For the much-used hacknied metaphors being now very imperfectly known, great care is required not to act in this case temerarioufly.

8 behaviour, what wert thou,

'Till this man shew'd thee? and what art thou now?] These are two wonderfully fine lines, intimating that what courts call manners, and value themselves so much upon teaching, as a thing no where else to be learnt, is a modeft filent accomplishment under the direction of nature and common sense, which does its office in promoting social life without being taken notice of. But that when it degenerates into thew and parade it becomes an unmanly contemptible quality.


King. We come to visit you, and purpose now

To lead you to our Court; vouchlafe it then. Prin. This field shall hold me, and so hold your

Nor God, nor I, delight in perjur'd men. King. Rebuke me not for That, which you provoke;

9 The virtue of your eye must break my oath. Prin. You nick-name virtue; vice you should have


For virtue's office never breaks mens troth.
Now, by my maiden honour, yet as pure

As the unsully'd lilly, I protest,
A world of torments though I should endure,

I would not yield to be your house's guest;
So much I hate a breaking cause to be
Of heav'nly oaths, vow'd with integrity.
King. O, you have liv'd in defolation here,

Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.
Prin. Not so, my lord; it is not so, I swear ;

We have had pastimes here, and pleasant game. A mess of Rusians left us but of late.

King. How, Madam? Rusians?

Prin. Ay, in truth, my lord;
Trim gallants, full of courtship, and of state.

Rof. Madam, speak true. It is not so, my lord :
My lady (to the manner of the days)
In courtesie gives undeserving praise.
We four, indeed, confronted were with four
In Russian habit: here they stay'd an hour,
And talk'd apace; and in that hour, my lord,
They did not bless us with one happy word.

9 The virtue of your eye must break my oath.) Common sense requires us to read,

MADE break my oath, i. e, made me. And then the reply is pertinent It was the force of your beauty that made me break my oath, therefore you ought not to upbraid me with a crime which you yourself was che cause of.

I dare not call them fools; but this I think,
When they are thirsty, fools would fain have drink,

Biron. This jest is dry to me. Fair, gentle, sweet,
Your wit makes wise things foolish; when we greet
With eyes best seeing heaven's fiery eye,
By light we lose light; your capacity
Is of that nature, as to your huge store
Wise things seem foolish, and rich things but poor.

Rof. This proves you wise and rich ; for in my eye-
Biron. I am a fool, and full of poverty.

Rof. But that you take what doth to you belong,
It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.

Biron. O, I am yours, and all that I possess.
Rof. All the fool mine?
Biron. I cannot give you less.
Rof. Which of the vizors was it, that you wore?
Biron. Where? when? what vizor? why demand

you this ?

Rof. There, then, that vizor, that fuperfluous Cafe,
That hid the worse, and shew'd the better face.
King. We are descried; they'll mock us now down-

Dum. Let us confess, and turn it to a jest.
Prin. Amaz'd, my lord? why looks your High-

ness fad? Rof. Help, hold his brows, he'll swoon: why look

you pale ?

Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy.

Biron. Thus pour the stars down plagues for Per


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Can any face of brass hold longer out?
Here stand 1, lady, dart thy skill at me;

Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a flout,
Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance;

Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit;
And I will with thee never more to dance,
Nor never more in Ruffian habic wait.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PredošláPokračovať »